Solving the : 100 Years of Selection and Recruitment at the Journal of Applied PsychologySupreme Problem: 100 Years of Selection and Recruitment at the Journal of Applied Psychology

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Abstract

This article reviews 100 years of research on recruitment and selection published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Recruitment and selection research has been present in the Journal from the very first issue, where Hall (1917) suggested that the challenge of recruitment and selection was the Supreme Problem facing the field of applied psychology. As this article shows, the various topics related to recruitment and selection have ebbed and flowed over the years in response to business, legal, and societal changes, but this Supreme Problem has captivated the attention of scientist–practitioners for a century. Our review starts by identifying the practical challenges and macro forces that shaped the sciences of recruitment and selection and helped to define the research questions the field has addressed. We then describe the evolution of recruitment and selection research and the ways the resulting scientific advancements have contributed to staffing practices. We conclude with speculations on how recruitment and selection research may proceed in the future. Supplemental material posted online provides additional depth by including a summary of practice challenges and scientific advancements that affected the direction of selection and recruitment research and an outline of seminal articles published in the Journal and corresponding time line. The 100-year anniversary of the Journal of Applied Psychology is very much the celebration of recruitment and selection research, although predictions about the future suggest there is still much exciting work to be done.

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